Stop me if you've heard this one. Well, I said, looky here, baby, I'm here for the same reason you are. I've been married to the same woman for twenty-five years, and not once has she asked me what I do for a living. She tells me that she loves me but I know that she's a gyppy. I find matchbooks in her purse from every goddam bar in town. Her mother's a transvestite and her father was always a Fuller Brush man, but he was bald as a doorknob and hell, I was afraid to try.

I had a vasectomy when I was thirteen years old, when I knocked up this thirteen hundred pound Mexican woman. I didn't have a green card and I worked for her father for seven years, at the Hermasillo Chamber of Commerce. Hell, I had minimum wage and shit, and I finally told him hey, he could have his job for crying out loud. And I told her I was going out for a pack of cigarettes one night. I got into a taxi cab and told him to take me to East St Louis, I'll pay whatever's on the meter.

Now that's when I hooked up with this pharmacist, you see? Yeah, this pharmacist, crazy pharmacist, you see? Let me sweep up in the apothecary for a hot meal and some Neosenephrin while I studied hotel management at night. Well, I finally got ready for the exam and I rented a room above a barber shop, when Jimmy the Lock one night broke in, stole some Lucky Tiger, a half pint of Bay Rum, and a 'Field & Stream' magazine. I caught a cross-town bus. Well you see, I told the guy to let me off at the nearest bar and I walked inside and what do you know? That's right! A girl I hadn't seen in fifteen years recognized me after a shave and told me that she thought we could make beautiful music together. And I said, 'Baby, I have a tin ear' and she said, 'Shit, I have a glass eye and a bum leg'.

So we went to her place and I found she was running guns to Africa and selling Avon products without a license, so I borrowed a car to go to the beach and meet new friends. Damn! Eh-he-he... Well, that ain't the half of it, man, you know... boy, have I got troubles, man... Well, I was pulled over for driving without sunglasses and Bermudas, and I was harassed and intimidated until we got to talking about Pete Kelly's blues, and I know a guy named Webb, and they gave me a free color brochure booklet on how to avoid child molesting, and I drove away with a new lease on life and ten dollars in my pocket, which I spent on an out-of-print Cozy Cole album at Music Man Murray's, which I considered an investment in the future. Along with a hi-fi recording of the 1959 Grand Prix at Sebring, which was in the wrong jacket and turned out to be a Rudy Ray Moore album.

Well anyhow, I'd been trying to lay my hands on that sucker for years, and needless to say I was beside myself, so I turned to myself and I said 'Hey Earl! You gonna be a bum all your life?' You know. I said, 'Are you talking to ME?' Eh-he... Earl was one of my aliases at the time, you see. I was traveling under the name of Earl Scheib, maybe you've heard of me? Well anyhow, to make a long story short, I threw in with these Italian guys in Montebello. Well, they talked me into opening up a used-food restaurant, and hell you know, you got used cars, used clothes, used furniture, why not used food, well? For the less fortunate people who don't get out much, you know what I mean.

Anyhow, on opening night this one-armed bass-player goes berserk right in front of the goddam place. With search lights and all, well that attracted the authorities over there.. eh-he... They were tipped off, you see. I always maintained that it was a real inside job, and they discovered it was a front for a prosthetics supermarket and a pet hospital. Anyhow... I was at a loss for words, and I was sent to two years in prison, but they suspended the sentence, and had me listen to a band called Mondray for six months and no parole.

Anyhow, I got out and I swore I was going straight. I got the first flight to Vegas where I enrolled in a major university and spent two years studying to be a typing teacher. My analyst said it was the healthiest thing he ever heard of. Anyhow, before the end of the fiscal year I was living on chicken and wine, I'm not talking about bullshit here! No record. Clean. Every night I'd put on a tie and hit the after hours bars with my old beat-up Underwood typewriter. I'd only read about these places in 'Tally's Corner', mind you.

Anyhow, here I was with shades on hanging out in the bar. Well, this trombone player named Marcel Tupee asked me if I wanted to sit in one night, and of course I was nervous and scared and shit. Well, 'he who hesitates is lost', and when I got on the bandstand they hit me with the spotlight, and I knew that something was happening, and they kicked off a blues in B-flat and I just typed, man! Like a crazy man! Typed like a crazy man, all that woodsheddin' had paid off, and oh hell, baby, 'You Scheeeeeib man!' You've heard the story a thousand times, I know. I don't wanna bore you. It's a dime store novel, and hell, you know the rest.

I got strung out and then I got my own group, and started playing the MYF meetings, like three shows a night, four on the weekends, and I couldn't pay the band, they left me flat one night in Montgomery Wards. I was there, you know, bartering for some band uniforms, and hell, I ain't seen high nor hell of 'em since. So I got out of the racket. Went back to my first wife and begged her to take me back, told her I'd changed, there'd be no more of them bondage scenes, and I'm a new man. She slapped me with a fifteen dollar bill for an orthodontist who claimed I walked the check on some braces. Are you sure you wanna hear this, man?

Anyhow, she gave me the bums rush, Jack, and I got a job sweeping up at Yonkers' race track. And one afternoon right in the middle of the daily double, I got inspiration. I remembered Hitler's phone number. That's right, thirteen thirteen, lucky number! And I put everything I had, sixty-eight bucks, on number thirteen, 'Big Blitz', and it paid ten to one. I got twelve hundred and sixty bucks. Quit my job, drove all night to New Orleans where I met the girl of my dreams, woke her up and played the long version of 'Harlem Nocturne' on my trumpet. She called the paramedics and they shot me full of thorozine, and said take a long walk off a short pier, well I ain't no fool! No siree! I got me three hots and a flop and the first thing smokin' out of town, if you understand what I mean.

And baby, I saw you in nineteen fifty-seven. Nineteen fifty-seven in a Lincoln Continental with Rhode Island plates, passing me on Route 66 doing seventy-five miles an hour, with a blue scarf around your neck, smoking a Lucky Strike, and wearing Chanel No. 5, with a Rosemary Clooney ringer on the radio, and I knew you didn't see me. But I saw you! And I told myself that night, that I gotta get next to that girl.

So what do you say you slide down a stool, and we could get acquainted?

Lyrics submitted by ecorchee1

Just Another Dime Store Novel song meanings
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